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May 12, 1999
The Role Of CMM Based Appraisals In Software Process Improvement Efforts
Dr. Cecil Martin
Dr. Martin discussed answers to some key questions in determining improvement activities that would minimize disruption to on-going activities. For example:
Where are we today? This is done by developing a detailed CMM based baseline using an appraisal method that is compliant with the Common Appraisal Framework (CAF).
Where do we want to be tomorrow? This is determined by the organizations business vision of what it wants its software process capability to be.
How do we go about getting there? A plan is developed once the previous two questions are answered. The plan is derived from the initial CMM compliant baseline and is updated periodically as a result of Quick Look Appraisals that are CAF compliant.
The key questions to ask during the execution phase of the improvements are:
How are we doing? The organization must continually assess its process capability using one of the CAF complaint CMM appraisal methods.
What additional changes do we need to make? This is determined by updating the initial process baseline to reflect improvements that have been completed.
He discussed how improvements must be defined, tried out, refined, and then spread throughout the organization, how the improvement activity is continuous, as each area will be monitored and reviewed to identify further improvement efforts over time. He explained how CAF compliant appraisals can be continually performed to update the process capability baseline and to determine status of the improvement effort. He concluded with how to create the initial process baseline using a Quick Look Appraisal that is CAF complaint. Then, when the organization is fairly certain that it has reached its improvement goal, perform a CMM Based Appraisal for Internal Process Improvement (CBA IPI) to officially establish the software process capability of the organization.
You can find out more about Martin Process Solutions, Inc. by calling (512) 794-1013
April 14, 1999
Lessons Learned - The Road to Level 3
Susan Crumrine and Randy Folck
Susan Crumrine presented the history of events that led to the Software Engineering Section of the Automation and Data Systems Division of Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) reaching SEI CMM Level 2 and their progress toward Level 3. She explained how they recognized the potential impact of the Software Engineering Institute Capability Maturity Model (SEI CMM). Her group, termed the Software Process Improvement Working Group (SPIWG) initiated the development of draft Software Development Procedures initially focusing on SEI Level 2 key process areas. The Software Engineering Department (SED) completed a CMM-based appraisal for internal process improvement (CBA-IPI) on August 23, 1996. Susan discussed the objectives of the assessment, including: identify key areas for process improvement and to propose a framework for subsequent improvement activities across the organization. Randy Folk discussed the lessons learned including choosing first the key practices add the most value and consider adding a level 3 capability - peer reviews. Peer reviews gave them big benefits. Susan and Randy closed with a discussion on SEDs continuing development of new procedures and processes that will guide the department toward attaining a Level 3 evaluation.
You can find out more about the Southwest Research Institute at http://www.swri.edu.
March 10, 1999
Producing Products-Faster, Better, AND Cheaper
Ms. Ivy Hooks explained some definite steps that you can take in the requirements process to improve productivity. She indicated that your management and your customers want your products yesterday, they want them to do everything, and they dont understand why they cost so much and that all this has led to the faster-better-cheaper syndrome that afflicts our country today. She indicated that we only know of one way to get all three at once-otherwise you can take your pick-and that is to do a much smarter job of the up front process, which includes the requirements and their predecessors. She stressed that this is the only place you are going to have real leverage during the software life-cycle. She mentioned taht the CMM says you must have a requirements management process, but does not tell you how to do it. Ms. Hooks explained some definite steps that you can take in the requirements process to improve productivity.
You can find out more about Automation Compliance at www.complianceautomation.com.
February 10, 1999
Using Principles to Re-inforce Processes
Kevin Murphy talked about his involvement in a number of major process initiatives over the years from the development of Information Engineering (IE) back in the early eighties to Object Oriented (OO) and with web methods today. He is a true believer in the value of process, but indicated there is more to it than the process itself. This is particularly true when you introduce a brand new process (or a new generation). He described a set of principles that drive the development of the process and these are what make it different. These principles often require a different behavior or different way of thinking when applying the process. He indicated that a breakdown occurs when projects try to use the new process (WBS and techniques) but stick to the old way of thinking.
You can find out more about James Martin and Company at www.jamesmartin.com
January 13, 1999
The Value of the Design Maintenance System for Software Reliability
Dr. Ira Baxter
Dr. Baxter discussed how conventional software engineering theory tends to focus on the design and implementation of a product; how most of the costs occur during the software maintenance phase. He sketched ideas behind a Design Maintenance System (DMS). DMS is a system for maintaining software by using transformation system technology to revise formal design information. DMS requires investment in infrastructure in the form of domain languages and software components. He showed how the payoff is partial automation in the revision process. He sketched the ongoing implementation of DMS. He explained how high-integrity software must not only be developed, but must be maintained in a trustworthy fashion. He showed how the same mechanisms which enable DMS to make design revisions, support reliable modification. He illustrated this by showing how a small data processing program can be modified in a reliable way. He summarized by discussing the aspects of DMS that should contribute to maintaining software reliability in the face of software changes.
You can find out more about DMS at www.semdesigns.com
November 11, 1998
Practical Software Measurement (PSM)
Dr. Joyce Statz
Lt. Col. Larry Norman, Chief of Software Process Improvement, Office of Software Process Improvement, Randolph Air Force Base, introduced our guest speaker Dr. Joyce Statz of TeraQuest Metrics, Inc. We had a large audience hear Dr. Statz discuss the background, content, approach, process, and future plans of the PSM.
The PSM Program has been underway since 1993 involving over 50 organizations. The goal was to build a guidebook and tool to provide "real guidance from real people." Its objective is to help improve performance of software intensive systems and enable development of organization measurement programs. The PSM Guidebook provides practices, principles of measurement, and a set of measures. The PSM tool runs on a PC to support project teams using this set of measures. The PSM is based on identifying project issues and objectives that then drive what the measurement requirements are and how the software is measured. The PSM is going through evolution as well as expansion. Additional guidance is being drafted in system engineering, product, and process improvement measures. The presentation and a question answer session highlighted four main points:
You can find out more about the PSM at www.teraquest.com and www.psmsc.com.
October 7, 1998
A Practical Approach to Moving from Level 1 to Level 2 Processes
Ms. Geree Streun
Ms. Geree Streun presented a practical approach to moving from level 1 to level 2 processes. Her presentation approach was just as practical as her approach to achieving level 2 process maturity. They were both very good! Ms. Streun provided a handout workbook to use during the presentation. She walked the audience through the most important aspects of the key practices in each key process area while allowing everyone to write down their thoughts in a prepared format. She then invited the audience to comment on the examples of ad hoc software process and problems the Project Managers face daily. In all, everyone got a chance to hear numerous experiences from the audience. Ms. Streun summarized as follows:
Inaugural SASPIN Meeting
September 2, 1998
The People CMM - Becoming a Software Employer of Choice
Dr. Bill Curtis
We were honored to have Mr. Ted Heath, Vice President within the Information Technology Company (ITCO) of USAA introduce Dr. Curtis. Mr. Heath presented some insight into the process foundation that ITCO is forming to achieve its goal of reaching SEI/CMM Level III in the year 2000.
Dr. Curtis gave an outstanding presentation of the People CMM. Almost half of the members in attendance have requested copies of his presentation. Dr Curtis covered the model in detail and his term "No Silver Lasso" was well received. He made several important points listed below.
You can find out more about the PSM at www.teraquest.com
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